How Should I Choose a Colour?

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Choosing colours can be an overwhelming task. When faced with rows upon rows of colour chips, it’s hard to know where to begin. Here, I will talk you through some of the common misconcep­tions of colour and give you some starting points to consider.

First let’s take a quick look at white! White is so popular right now, but there are many things to consider when choosing white. It is widely thought that painting a small room all white will make it look bigger. In some cases the opposite is true; why not embrace your smaller spaces and let them envelop you? It’s true, white can look clean and modern. However, white is bossy and if you commit to white in one room (no matter if it is big or small), it can look unfinished, forgotten about and then you are standing in a room that looks as though you just primed it!

Another popular belief is not to mix warm and cool colours. However, sticking with just cool colours can make the room feel a little unfriendly and all warm colours can feel somewhat monotonous. The room may always seem like it is missing some­thing. Contrasting warm and cool adds interest, flavour and sometimes ‘punchiness’ to a room. Contrasting can be your wow factor! If you are drawn to cool colours, then add the warmth with your finishes and accents, or vice versa. For exam­ple, gold frames, light fixtures and other hardware can add warmth, whereas chrome can read cool.

Add more contrasting elements with throw cushions, blankets, art and furniture.

You may be led to believe that you can go pick out your favourite colour, or pick up the latest, trendi­est colour, but you should know your limits and ask yourself a few questions first. What else are you changing or willing to change (i.e. is your heart is set on a particular colour)? Of course, if the new colour compliments all your fixed elements, this is not an issue. However, if your heart is set on painting your wall blue, let’s say Starry Night Blue 2067-20 for instance, yet it doesn’t relate to anything you have and even clashes with your current furniture, then what do you do? This is an area we can help you with; a way in which a colour consultation can prove invaluable. Together we can find a colour that not only makes your heart happy, but also creates flow within your space. Perhaps, it’s neutral with a blue undertone, or a patterned wallpaper for a feature wall to tie every­thing together. We even run classes to teach you how to revamp your furniture!

Colour theory is another commonly used starting point. It can be great tool to help get you started and bring a certain impact to your home. However, don’t let it rule you completely! According to colour theory, red exudes warmth and draws attention. This may be the feeling you crave, yet you can’t stand red! Does this mean you should just paint it red? NO! Of course not! We can help you find a colour that brings warmth to your space that fits both you and the atmosphere you want to create.

Aisling’s top five tips when you are thinking about finding a new colour for your space:

  1. Stay true to you, not the trend 
  2. Pay attention to your fixed elements and your undertones
  3. If it’s a new build or a complete renovation, always start with the furniture and fixtures (paint colours are vast and matchable, the same is not true of sofas and countertops!)
  4. Contrasting warm and cool colours will add interest and intrigue
  5. Create flow by considering each room in the context of which rooms are visible to one another

And remember to compare and contrast; you can’t truly tell everything about a colour until you hold it up to another colour. For instance, you hold up one white sample chip and think it’s truly white until you put it next to another and suddenly it turns gray before your eyes. Just look above at the fan deck of colours that are all considered off white!

I hope this makes starting your next paint adventure a little less daunting, but remember we are always here and happy to help! Take the stress out completely and book your in-home colour consultation today.

Aisling Ely studied Fine Art & Design at Limerick College of Art & Design in Ireland. She is available for colour consultations by appointment.

A Benjamin Moore Store
3354 Dunbar St, Vancouver BC V6S 2C1
Telephone 604-737-0962